Castro Marim Medieval Days

August in Algarve: Medieval fairs, sardines and Fatacil

Big events planned for August

August is the busiest month of the year in the Algarve, with holidaymakers pouring into the region from other parts of Portugal and from all over the world.

Thus, it is no surprise that many of the region’s biggest events of the year take place in August, from two major medieval fairs in Silves and Castro Marim to Portimão’s famous Sardine Festival and Lagoa’s massive Fatacil fair.

Up first is Portimão’s Sardine Festival, which begins next Wednesday and runs until Sunday (August 3-7).

Grilled sardines

Recently hailed the number one summer food festival in Europe by travel blog Big 7 Travel – the event sees riverside restaurants and dozens of stalls serving charcoal-grilled sardines, either ‘no pão’ (on bread) or served with the traditional sides of boiled potatoes and Algarve-style salad. There will also be stalls selling regional handicraft and sweets and concerts every night.

The next big event will be the return of Silves Medieval Fair between August 10 and 20, taking visitors on a journey back to a time when Silves and the Algarve were ruled by the Moors.

Silves Medieval Fair (Daniel Pina)

The town will be decorated to look (almost) like it did in the Middle Ages while over 100 exhibitors from all over the world will set up shop along its streets.

There will be the usual Medieval tournaments and shows, live music performances, street entertainment, Medieval taverns serving food and drinks, a play area for children (Xilb dos Pequenos) and a Berbers camp with blacksmiths, carpenters, potters and vendors selling all sorts of exotic products.

A bracelet providing access to every day of the fair costs €4 until August 9, and €5 during the course of the event. It is being sold at several local establishments, including Silves’ library, castle, museum, and municipal pools. Meanwhile, a one-day ticket will cost €2 per person.

The region’s medieval history will also be celebrated in Castro Marim during the town’s Medieval Days between August 24 and 28.

Described as a “genuine and unforgettable journey to the magic of the Middle Ages”, the event will feature the usual stalls selling handicraft, musical performances and medieval banquets.

Castro Marim Medieval Days

Last but certainly not least, Lagoa’s Fatacil fair will return between August 19 and 28 with an impressive musical line-up, including Gipsy Kings by Diego Baliardo (a collective of musicians led by one of the founding members of the world-famous group) who will perform on August 20.

Fatacil

The event – which also showcases local businesses and craftspeople, delicious food from all over Portugal, equestrian events and much more – celebrated its best edition ever in 2019, attracting nearly 200,000 people.

More information on these and other events can be found in ‘Guia Algarve’, a guide in Portuguese and English launched every month detailing what is going on in the Algarve. The physical guide is also distributed for free at Faro Airport, hotels, travel agencies, rent-a-cars and golf courses.

By Michael Bruxo

michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com